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  1. Dr. Gaël Noirot (Post-doctoral fellow): slitless grism spectroscopy with HST and JWST, high-z galaxy (proto)clusters, JWST CANUCS GTO slitless grism program

  2. Dr. Johannes Zabl (Post-doctoral fellow): GIRMOS instrument project; galaxy evolution

  3. Dr. Nick Martis (Post-doctoral fellow, based with Dr. C.Willott at NRC Herzberg): galaxy evolution JWST CANUCS GTO slitless grism program

  4. Lingjian Chen (PhD student): Environments of very massive galaxies; the CLAUDS project

  5. Angelo George (PhD student, co-supervised with Dr. I.Damjanov): Morphological evolution of galaxies; the CLAUDS project

  6. Harrison Souchereau (research assistant, co-supervised with Dr. I.Damjanov): galaxy light profiles from deep images; the CLAUDS project

Additionally, we have a close research relationship with Dr. Ivana Damjamov and her group here in Halifax, working together on several galaxy evolution projects and holding integrated group meetings and discussions. 



I study the formation and evolution of galaxies at epochs when the Universe was only a fraction of its present age. I am particularly interested in where and when the Universe made its stars and the complex chemical elements that we are all made of. In my work I use space-based facilities including the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes, as well as ground-based ones such as the Gemini, CFHT, and Subaru observatories in Hawaii and Chile. I am a core member of the Canadian James Webb Space Telescope Guaranteed Time Observer (GTO) team and after two decades in development, I am tremendously excited that we will soon be using our JWST GTO time in this research very soon after JWST’s October 2021 launch!


The research of our group is financially supported by the Canada Research Chairs program, NSERC, the Canadian Space Agency, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Research Nova Scotia Trust, and Saint Mary’s University, and makes use of ACEnet, Compute Canada, and CANFAR computing resources.



The Canadian NIRISS Unbiased Cluster Survey (CANUCS) project will study high-redshift  galaxies with Hubble’s successor, the James Webb Space Telescope. Soon after JWST’s 2021 launch we will be investing 200 hours of guaranteed JWST time into observing distant galaxies behind five intermediate-redshift massive lensing clusters (including Abell 370 - shown in the NASA HST image to the left). JWST’s superb sensitivity, further boosted through gravitational lensing by the cluster potentials, will let us detect galaxies in the Epoch of Reionization at z~7 and above, and study in detail galaxy structure at “cosmic high noon” around z~2-3.  We are now preparing the data analysis pipelines so as to be ready when observations start soon after JWST’s launch in October 2021.

  1.                                                                      ...read more here   

  1. CLAUDS+HSC Survey (CFTH+Subaru):  

CLAUDS is a Canada-France-China collaboration to obtain deep CFHT U-band imaging to an unprecedented combination of area and depth (~20 sq deg to U~27AB at SNR=5.  CLAUDS overlaps with the Subaru Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) survey Deep/UltraDeep fields and greatly enhances the Subaru grizy dataset: it allows the selection of star-forming galaxies at z~2-3, measurement of star formation rates at z<1, and dramatically improves photometric redshift performance of the combined surveys. The CLAUDS data (68 dedicated CFHT dark-time nights plus archival data) are all in hand, and merged with the HSC dataset from our Subaru partners. Together, these catalogs are ideal for a large range of scientific applications from detailed galaxy evolutions studies over 0<z<1, to assembling large samples of galaxies, quasars and protoclusters at z~2-3. We are working on many of these topics, but we have barely begun to scratch the surface and there is so much science to do with this incredibly rich dataset!

... read more here and here  

  1. GIRMOS:

GIRMOS (Gemini InfraRed Multi-Object Spectrograph) is a next-generation instrument that we are building for the Gemini-North 8-metre telescope in Hawai`i. GIRMOS will have the ability to take spatially-resolved spectra of several separate targets at once with light fed to it by Gemini’s new state-of-the-art GNAO adaptive optics system now also under construction as the largest component of Gemini’s GEMMA program. One of the key science goals of GIRMOS is to study in great detail high-z galaxies behind gravitationally lensing clusters. I am leading the team that’s developing the GIRMOS observation planning and data reduction software.

                                                                               ...read more here and here